Tramadol is closely related to narcotic analgesics. It is used in cases of moderate to moderately severe pain. It basically works by affecting the brain and the messages it sends to the body regarding pain. It is taken by mouth every 4 to 6 hours or as directed by a doctor. It can be taken with food or without, but sometimes can cause nausea. In these cases it usually helps to take it with food. There are also some other methods for decreasing nausea.
The dosage set by the physician will depend on the patient’s condition and how they respond to the treatment program. Usually, the physician will start this medication at a very low dose and increase it gradually. This sometimes helps to reduce the risk of side effects. The absolute maximum dosage is 400 mg per day. As with all medications that are taken for pain relief it is best to take it as soon as the first signs of pain begin. If a person waits the pain can be worse and the medication will not work as effectively.
Some patients who have chronic pain such as with arthritis may also take other over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen along with Tramadol to seek relief from the pain. It is best to discuss any medications with the physician first, to avoid a serious and possibly harmful combination.
There are some possible side effects from taking this particular medication. Vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches or constipation may occur, but they may also decrease after using the drug for awhile. More serious side effects may include difficulty urinating, mood changes, or stomach pains. Report any of these to the doctor as soon as they are experienced. In very rare circumstances serious side effects such as fainting, seizures, unusual drowsiness or shallow breathing may occur because of Tramadol.